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Kalhana Society lists plight of Kashmiri Pandits

Wednesday - August 14, 2019 10:18 pm , Category : INDIA
New Delhi, Aug 14 (IANS) Hailing the Central government for its decision to abrogate Article 370 which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the Kalhana Society on Wednesday highlighted the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits which it felt the Centre should treat with utmost seriousness and urgency.
As per the Kalhana Society, there are certain important issues which need urgent attention and remedial action. Writing on its behalf, Kalhana Society Sectrary General Satish Mahaldar said that for thirty years, Kashmiri Pandits have been living like refugees in their own country.
He said the past governments, as well as the present dispensation, seems to be repeating the same mistakes of ignoring the first 'en mass' victims of terror in Kashmir. Mahaldar then went on to list a series of points which the society felt needed urgent consideration. They are as follows:
* Thirty years of living in exile and the Kashmiri Pandits still have not been given the status of Internally Displaced People (IDP) or refugees. Had this happened, India's case against Pakistan at the international level would have been stronger.
* The government of India and the government of the erstwhile state of J&K have no clear records of the number of Kashmiri Pandits who fled the valley since 1989. Kashmiri Pandits claim that over six lakh had fled, while the state government has been showing the numbers in thousands only. Is the discrepancy deliberate to show the number of Kashmiri Pandits as very less?
* There is also no clear cut record of the number of Kashmiri Pandits killed or raped or injured with either the Centre, or the J&K administration.
* As per the Kashmiri Pandit community, at present there are 1,403 religious places of the community existing in the Valley. There are 428 cremation grounds, 975 temples and shrines in the Valley. But why is it that the government records in the Valley say that there are only 454 temples at present. Is the discrepancy deliberate?
* Surveys conducted by Kashmiri Pandits have recorded that 347 temples were destroyed after Kashmiri Pandits were forced out of the Valley. But the Divisional Commissioner's office says only 204 temples were destroyed. Why the difference?
Mahaldar further said that the way the community has been treated by the successive governments, it is clear that there is something more than what meets the eye.

--IANS arm/

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